A story of high intrigue and low politics, of brutal murder and cunning conspiracies, set against the backdrop of a fascinating period in British history and introducing an ingenious, pragmatic, and unforgettable hero. St. Giles, London, 1829--three people have been brutally murdered and the city simmers with anger and political unrest. Pyke, sometime Bow Street Runner, sometime crook, finds himself accidentally embroiled in the murder investigation but quickly realizes that he has stumbled into something more sinister and far-reaching. In his pursuit of the murderer Pyke ruffles the feathers of some powerful people, and, falsely accused of murder himself, he soon faces a death sentence and the gallows of Old Bailey. Imprisoned, and with only his uncle and the headstrong, aristocratic daughter of his greatest enemy who believe in him, Pyke must engineer his escape, find the real killer, and untangle the web of politics that has been spun around him.